Invariably when speaking about The 5 Principles of Authentic Living, the word “silence” appears in my speaking. Silence and speaking — ironic, don’t you think? Silence is such an important word, because it points to that place from where authenticity arises. What do I mean when I use the word silence?
Silence is not “not speaking.” Nor is silence environmental quietude. Silence is a specific kind of relationship to our mind, to our thoughtstream. Silence means to simply be aware of thinking and speaking. Silence is the noticing dimension of being consciously aware of our thoughtstream, from outside the thoughtstream. Instead of just speaking from our thinking, we become aware that we are thinking, aware that we have beliefs, that we speak in abstractions and concepts. This “awareness of” is silence. The “awareness of” is what some Eastern spiritual philosophies call “discrimination,” the ability to tell real from unreal, true from false. What is real and true, as distinct from unreal and false? I can tell you that it has nothing to do with content, with opinion, with dogma, with point of view. Rather it is the difference between licking the page in a cookbook, trying to taste the picture, and eating the actual food.
Silence is the stage upon which we stand as we embody, engage, and express our unspoiled, genuine self. Silence is the non-language language we hear as we embody the first principles of authentic living: Be Present. Silence is our mode of understanding as we stand on the banks of the thoughtstream.
How does one practice living in and from silence? How does one practice speaking from silence? Try this: be aware of every word that you say while you are saying it. Be aware of what you say and how you say it while you are saying it. Try that. See how you go. Don’t let yourself go unconscious for a second; don’t go on auto pilot. Try that. In this way, you live in silence and awareness and use your mind, your thoughtstream, as a hand puppet to express what your authentic self wants to say.
What does your authentic self want to say? You will know when you are Being Present, Paying Attention, and Listening Deeply. You’ll know. Then, you express: you Speak Truthfully.
And then, you Act Creatively.
And then you are flying.